Sustainable landscape in Transylvanian Highlands

Country: Romania

Wellbeing of Farmers:  Physical Wellbeing, Mental Wellbeing, Social Wellbeing

Key Challenges: Lack of basic services, Low farm income (market vulnerability), Lack of attractiveness of certain farming profession, Lack of appreciation/support for female farmers, Lack of generational renewal on farm, External factors (whether, climate change, etc.)

Key Target Groups: Young farmers, Female farmers, Older farmers

Farm Size: Small/Family

Find Out More

Key contact: Florentina Florescu


Organization: Mioritics Association

Relevant Links:



The story of the eco-destination begins in 2012, when several local partners involved in a joint project, recognized the Eco-touristic value of the area through a brand called “Transylvanian Highlands”.

The destination “Transylvanian Highlands” stretches around the Hârtibaci valley, the left bank of the Târnava Mare River and the right bank of the Olt River. It covers an area of approximately 260,000 hectares. More than 100,000 inhabitants live in 44 communes and towns in this area.

Transylvanian Highlands is a common initiative of partners who value this area through the projects they implement and through the support they offer for community development.


Nature and cultural heritage are the biggest assests that rural communities have. The main objective of Colinele Transilvaniei is promoting the concept of Eco-Tourism in the second biggest area with Nature 2000 sites in Romania that covers three counties Brasov, Sibiu and Mures.


Colinele Transilvaniei territory is an ecotourism destination, promoting the last medieval landscapes, focusing on promoting and engaging rural communities to provide tourism, gastronomic and leisure activities for the tourists. The success of the project is based on an integrated approach of the and a strong partnership between the stakeholders (NGOs, rural communities representatives, LAGs, decision makers) which provides a solid framework for communities’ development. the activities provided are:

  • communication and promotion of tourism activities (exploring the area by walking, saddling or cycling, life on the farm – package for families),
  • produce and communicate (post) background information regarding the cultural attractions, natural values of the area,
  • facilitation and promotion of gastronomic events (promoting local tastes and ingredients, and fairs, biking tours and competitions, facilitation of communities involvement;
  • promote the area at national and international level via wider networks of communication;
  • organize regular meeting with the project’ partners and rural communities representatives to co-create new ideas and solutions.
Main Outcome of the activity

Main results of the project implementation that can be replicated:

  • develop a common vision of the area around natural, cultural, and gastronomic values of rural communities;
  • creating a strong partnership between rural communities and relevant stakeholders for a sustainable development;
  • encourage a business development attitude among farmers communities to help them and add value to farming activities;
  • create a network of accommodation places along several communities.
Main Practical Recommendations

Capacity building of the partnership involving farmers’ communities and the business ideas from the area can be disseminated and replicated by connecting the communities covered in FARMWELL.

Eco-tourism as a concept is the first result that other communities can start working with. Farmers communities can adapt it to their specific needs to build on or develop the economic activities in their areas.

Creating a valuable partnership that can preserve the cultural heritage, local products, landscapes, and rural identity contributes to the wellbeing of rural communities.

Key Stakeholders Involved

Mioritics Association, Sibiu County Tourism Association, WWF Romania, ADEPT Transilvania Foundation, Mihai Eminescu Trust Foundation, Monumentum Association, Dealurile Târnavelor LAG, Hârtibaciu Microregion LAG, Podisul Mediaşului LAG, LAG Transylvanian Association Brasov North, Fortified Churches Foundation and the farming communities.

Most Innovative Aspects of the Solution

One of the innovative aspects of this project is the partnership itself, connected with very grass-roots level. Also, the partners are aiming at complementing each other, and not competing. All the 11 different partners are actively engaged at local level and keep in touch with the communities and local administration is an example of good practices for developing rural areas in Romania.

The knowledge and information exchange in the area is also part of the innovation given that the territory requires specific actions that are further communicated to and understood by the communities.

Giving rural communities a boost in developing through implementing a new concept such as eco-tourism represents an innovative process that helps engaging farmers communities in activities that capitalize on their work and bring added value in the area.